March 17, 2019

Sermon Notes for the 17th. March 2019.

Sermon Notes for the 17th. March 2019.

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18. Abram’s faith leads him into relationship with God (righteousness) &
God makes a covenant with Abram, promising him that he will have a son to be his heir, and
descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Psalm 27. A song of assurance for God’s protection and care, expressing the longing to live
in God’s sanctuary and find refuge there. In addition, the psalmist asks for God’s mercy and
rescue from his enemies.
Philippians 3:17-4:1. Paul’s encouragement for believers to stay true for the sake of Christ,
and to remember their heavenly priorities, following his example of faithfulness.
Luke 13:1-9. Jesus points out that a fruitful tree was often used as a symbol of Godly living
and calls the people to repent and return to Godly living.

The Rev. Tania writes,

Today’s readings remind us of the enduring faithfulness of God. If only our faith were strong enough to trust God every moment! Through the readings, we discover that God stays with us even in our doubt. Be inspired by these striking images of comfort: the Lord protects me (Psalm 27).

Abraham receives promises from God of covenant relationships and descendants as numerous as the stars, and the psalmist affirms God’s mercy and protection and the joy of living in God’s presence and love. In the letter to the Philippians, Paul also indicates that those who follow faithfully are not headed for destruction, but for glory.

In the Gospel we see the image of a fruitful tree and was often used as a symbol of godly living (see, for example, Psalm 1:3 and Jeremiah 17:7, 8). Jesus pointed out what would happen to the other kind of tree—the kind that took valuable time and space and still produced nothing for the patient gardener. This was one way Jesus warned his listeners that God would not tolerate forever their lack of productivity and calls the people to return to the Lord. How do we respond to the Gardener’s patient care, and begin to bear the fruit God has created you to produce this Lent?

God is always faithful to us and the readings this week encourage us that, whatever we may face, we are ultimately destined for glory, and God’s strength will sustain us and keep us faithful to the end. In a world of expediency the call to embrace the tough and challenging path of the Gospel can seem out of place, but, if we will trust it and embrace it, we will discover the life that endures through the worst times and that empowers us in the best times.

Prayerfully Rev. Tania.